Romania’s mobile advertising industry begins to flourish

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Httpoolan Aleph Holding company and global partner of major digital platforms (Facebook, Spotify, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc.), published an article titled “All colors of mobile advertising 2021”, created to help marketers build and improve their mobile advertising strategy this year.

By Romanita Oprea

Currently, nearly 2 billion people access the Internet via smartphones, equivalent to 51% of the world’s 3.9 billion mobile technology users, according to WARC. According to data analyzed by the company, mobile has the potential to remain a leader in the tech space for the foreseeable future, especially amid the accelerated digitalization driven by the pandemic. According to data provided by IMARC Group, specialists estimate that the global mobile device advertising market will reach USD 269.1 billion by 2026. Additionally, Retail Marketer expects 54% of all online purchases to be made through smartphones by the end of 2021.

But where is the Romanian mobile advertising and communication industry today, from a strategic and creative point of view? Ruxandra Papuc, Executive Creative Director at McCann Bucharest, says the industry is growing and constant updates mean we can never get bored. New media is appearing everywhere you look. From rich formats to new content models, everything we know is regularly reinvented.

“What had to be explained two years ago is now the norm and responds to an increasingly picky audience. You need to be more relevant than ever and work your brain to be interesting. Entertainment is on the rise and I believe there will be a new era in advertising as purpose becomes the norm,” Papuc explained.

The pandemic did no damage

The mobile advertising and communication landscape has proven resilient in the face of the turmoil of the pandemic, and a good example of this is an IAB study which showed that mobile advertising managed to attract 60% of total online ad revenue in Romania last year.

At a time when consumers were struggling with home confinement, social distancing and quarantines, mobile advertising seemed like a definite winner for marketers and advertising professionals.

“During the pandemic, consumers have turned to their phones for tasks and activities they would normally have done in person. As a result, smartphones have become an extension of themselves, with constant interaction from the minute where they wake up until the moment they fall asleep With people spending an average of 3.44 hours a day online using a mobile device (We are social data, 2021), mobile advertising has become an even more compelling space for brands, giving them the ability to create mobile-specific content that drives loyalty, engagement, entertainment and cultural change,” said Alexandra Tudor, Planner senior strategist at Kubis.

She argues that mobile has been gaining popularity for some time now, but locally it has only been recognized as a major industry disruptor since 2017, when it became a staple for any brand communication framework. According to Tudor, the pandemic has accelerated this pre-existing growth trend, with Romanians increasingly viewing their mobile devices as entertainment and shopping tools, rather than just communication tools. As a result, mobile suffered less than traditional media, with mobile ad spend expected to grow further both locally and globally in 2021.

Plus, as Eugen Predescu, CEO of Canopy added, mobile devices are definitely the most popular in terms of online traffic right now. In most industries, more than 75% of traffic comes from mobile phones. “It is crucial to develop mobile-first strategies for everything from websites to advertising solutions. Advertising platforms allow you to create different types of interactions with your customers. It is very important to create specific content for each device All companies should personalize their strategies and content for mobile devices,” he said. To recognize the importance of this mix, Canopy entered into a partnership with agency pastel that would help them offer customers the personalized experiences they seek.

“Getting more traffic is starting to get expensive, and to maximize their investments, companies are focusing on conversion rate optimization. This results in better experiences and solutions designed for mobile devices. Additionally, online competition has increased significantly over the past couple of years, especially during the pandemic. This was one of the few positive aspects of this period. Thanks to this acceleration, all Internet users have better online experiences,” Predescu noted.

And after?

Looking to the future and anticipating trends, the representative of McCann Bucharest believes that the best word to describe the phenomenon would be “exploration”. “We are now looking at mobile communication from a more holistic perspective. We look forward to discovering new features for the applications we use and pushing the boundaries of new formats as much as possible. We no longer have brainstorming sessions that don’t involve a call to our CTO,” Papuc said.

In turn, the Canopy CEO sees more and more companies looking to build their own mobile apps. He thinks that’s a big plus, but at the same time he argues that there are a few things company reps should keep in mind when considering adding an app to their portfolio. Questions such as: “What will be different from the mobile version of the website?” How will customers migrate from the website to the app? How will we retain people who download the app? should all be on the list when developing a brand’s mobile strategy.

On the other hand, Alexandra Tudor considers TikTok and mobile gaming as the main factors of influence and change. She believes that in terms of emerging trends in the local market, TikTok is the social media winner of 2020. the world. Mobile audiences have turned to TikTok to create “meme” moments that could help brands boost culture. A good example in this respect comes from our work at Kubis. #SarbatoareDinOrice, Pepsi’s winter challenge on TikTok with Fuego, has become a viral digital phenomenon that has relevantly entered the Gen Z pop culture conversation,” the Kubis rep explained.

Additionally, a recent study conducted by the Romanian Association of Game Developers found that 48% of all game users were female, almost on par with the number of male gamers. Mobile gamers are occasional gamers or “gaming mothers” who gamble in their spare time. Capitalizing on the gender equality trend, Gaming Marathon powered by Vodafone – the largest online gaming event in Romania – wanted to challenge the “myth” of all male gamers and launched the #HerOwnWay campaign to show his appreciation to all women in the gaming world.

And yes, customers also seem to be more open to mobile apps in Romania, with Papuc saying that there is no longer a barrier when it comes to discussing the idea. A few years ago, dropping the app bombshell would take courage on all sides. Now the market is more mature. “It’s not just yes or no anymore, it’s ‘let’s find the strategic angle’. We also have a better understanding of the different types of applications and we can tell what is most likely to be successful,” added Papuc. However, his opinion is not shared by the CEO of Canopy regarding the strategic side, as he points out that the problem is that after the launch of an application, sometimes there is no specific marketing strategy. for this one. “We often find ourselves in the situation where the advertising budget is 20 times less than the application development budget. It’s impossible to get the proper commitment for an app in this situation,” Predescu explained.

Alexandra Tudor notes that the rise of e-commerce during the pandemic has also accelerated the development of mobile payment applications, which is why brands have started to shift their focus from other channels to mobile. For example, UniCredit Bank saw an increase in the use of mobile payments and offered consumers the option of Google Pay, another type of payment experience that made shopping easier, faster and more secure.

Another good example that reflects customers’ openness to mobile apps is Lidl, which launched a loyalty card app – Lidl Plus – last year that allows consumers to take advantage of the retailer’s latest discounts and rewards.

“To fully seize the opportunity to create a successful mobile ad campaign, we need to understand what’s different on mobile and pay attention to the 5 Ps of mobile engagement: Presence (understanding channels), Personalization, Presentation (tailored to small screen), Peer-to-peer (shareable content) and of course Performance. (WARC, The 5 Ps for Engaging in Mobile Moments)”, explained Kubis’ senior strategic planner.

“The secret to a good mobile advertising campaign is smart, creative and personalized content that is targeted based on performance. From my point of view, the mix between creativity and performance can ensure the success of a mobile campaign. When you know who to target, on what device, using what formats, and create different ad sequences that you can deliver based on specific scenarios, you can create stunning personalized campaigns that can go viral and help you scale day to day. next day,” said Eugen Predescu. .

Meanwhile, Ruxandra Papuc thinks the biggest success factor is insight, because nothing, no matter how funky or techy, will ever work without good insight. And consumer knowledge itself has evolved a lot with the mobile world. “Success comes from being relevant and offering something that consumers need, in a surprising way,” she concluded.

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